For four years I have been the one at home. Mostly. Even when I was in school I was quite often doing the parent things – getting her on the school bus, checking her bag when she got home, occasionally volunteering – though Scientists in the School is Daddy’s jam.

Now I’m working full time. I started the week before her school got going and I’m totally lost. I know her teachers’ names. I went to meet the teacher night. But for the most part, day to day, I’m in the dark. I don’t read what comes home, sometimes I don’t even see it.

I feel very disconnected. More disconnected even than when I went back to work after my maternity leave. I’m missing out. It’s disorienting. It’s sad. I miss my little girl. I miss my morning’s getting her to the bus. I miss her smile when she sees me there, picking her up. Her mama.

I never, ever expected being a mom to be such a big part of my identity. It’s like being divided into quarters. Mother, wife, employee, me.

And one side is always winning. And it’s really freaking hard.

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